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Prognostic Value of Transferrin Receptor-1 (CD71) Expression in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

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Background: Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the commonest childhood cancer. Transferrin receptor 1 (CD71) is a trans-membrane glycoprotein which has important role in iron homeostasis by acting as a gatekeeper regulating iron uptake from transferrin and is an attractive target for anti-cancer agents, particularly those that aim to induce lethal iron deprivation in malignant hematopoietic cells.

Aim of the Work: To assess the prognostic value of Transferrin receptor -1 (CD71) in children with newly diagnosed ALL.

Patients and Methods: This study was carried out on 75 patients with newly diagnosed ALL. Transferrin receptor-1 expression was analyzed on the bone marrow blasts by flow cytometry at time of diagnosis with positive CD71 expression is considered when ≥20% of malignant cells express this marker while negative expression is considered when <20% of malignant cells express this marker.

Results: Transferrin receptor-1 positive expression was detected in 45 patients (60%) while negative expression was found in the remaining 30 patients (40%). CD71 expression was significantly higher on T- ALL patients compared with B-ALL patients. Positive CD71 expression at diagnosis was significantly associated with bad clinical and laboratory prognostic factors as lymphadenopathy, higher white blood cell count, higher hemoglobin level, lower platelets count, and higher blast cells in peripheral blood and bone marrow and higher lactate dehydrogenase levels'. There were significant differences in disease free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) between positive and negative CD71 expression groups with significantly shorter DFS and OS in positive CD71 expression group compared to negative group.

Conclusion and Recommendations: ‘Positive Transferrin receptor -1 (CD71) expression in patients with ALL is adverse prognostic factor and should be taken in consideration in designing future therapeutic strategies based on patient- specific risk factors’.
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Keywords: Acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Transferrin receptor -1. Adverse prognostic factors for ALL; childhood cancer; iron homeostasis; malignant hematopoietic cells

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2018

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  • This journal is devoted to timely reviews of experimental and clinical studies in the field of endocrine, metabolic, and immune disorders. Specific emphasis is placed on humoral and cellular targets for natural, synthetic, and genetically engineered drugs that enhance or impair endocrine, metabolic, and immune parameters and functions. Topics related to the neuroendocrine-immune axis are given special emphasis in view of the growing interest in stress-related, inflammatory, autoimmune, and degenerative disorders.
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